Fwd: Elane Photography v. Willock

Steven Jamar stevenjamar at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 19:06:44 PST 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steven Jamar <stevenjamar at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 10:05 PM
Subject: Re: Elane Photography v. Willock
To: "Wallace, E. Gregory" <wallace at webster.campbell.edu>

Case in point -- here are wedding pictures I took of my niece's wedding in

These were taken with a very good (not quite professional grade) camera with
me just there taking pictures -- not the same access or power as the
professional photographers.  And these are just a subset of the hundreds I
took (possible now due to digital cameras). And these were adjusted in
iPhoto for exposure, cropping, color in some instances, etc.

They are better than most of the pictures taken by others -- but far below
professional grade.

And even so, there was planning, composing, selection, etc., to tell the
story of the wedding -- leaving the high quality picts to the professionals.

Can a photographer refuse to do a wedding for no reason at all?  Surely.
 For a material reason (not paid enough)? Surely.  For a subjective reason
non-protected reason (I just don't get along with the bride; artistic
differences, etc.).  Surely.

But what about for a prohibited reason (race, or religion or other protected

I'm very troubled both by allowing discrimination by service providers and
by requiring providers of artistic/expressive services to provide services
to those they dislike for moral reasons in circumstances where the result
would essentially be compelled expression.  Here, the photographers would be
compelled to show something they don't believe in -- gay marriage. So there
is a legit speech aspect that does not exist, perhaps, or does not exist in
a legitimate way (race and religion are not the same perhaps as beliefs
being shown) in other types of discrimination.



On Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 9:36 PM, Wallace, E. Gregory <
wallace at webster.campbell.edu> wrote:

>  The problem here may be not only that we misunderstand the law, but that
> we misunderstand photography. No one who has ever done serious photography
> would claim that professional wedding photographers are not engaged in
> artistic expression because they're acting as "common carrier[s] without
> exercising substantial artistic discretion" or because they "think that they
> are artists, but it would be hard to make that case for merely wedding
> photographs." If you don't believe me, pick up a camera and try to take
> photographs that people will pay money for.
> Greg Wallace
> Campbell University School of Law
Prof. Steven Jamar
Howard University School of Law
Associate Director, Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice
(IIPSJ) Inc.

Prof. Steven Jamar
Howard University School of Law
Associate Director, Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice
(IIPSJ) Inc.
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